Personal Productivity BLOGS & PODCASTS

Get Your Crayons Back: How to Win Over Your Inner Critic and Recapture Your Creative Self

My work requires me to be creative and confident. If I don’t figure out how to set strategy for my business and come up with great ideas for what to do next, I won’t be successful. Those of you who are in a senior leadership position or self-employed know what I’m talking about.

So how do you wake up every day and get creative? I find myself in near-continual creative crisis, which might surprise friends and colleagues to hear. I generally look like I have my business act together and take far more creative risks in life than the average person, including venturing into making visual art late in life. But keeping a clear channel open to my creativity is a big hassle in my life. Right now I have a lot of business development work to get done that requires my best creative thinking and most days feel like a slog. Days can go by with nothing important accomplished. My inner critic, desperately trying to keep me from creating and going public with something really foolish, wins. Learn More →

Looking for More Time in the Day? Focus Your 1:1 Meetings

It doesn’t seem to matter whether the economy is booming and work is pouring in, or the economy is down and you’re scrambling to keep clients and get everything done with a lean staff. There is a perpetual Big Squeeze for time. Nearly every business leader I coached last week was facing the same dilemma: where do you find more time when you’ve been over-committed for years and there’s nothing left of your life to squeeze more time from?

One of the executives I spoke with last week described how her organization had advised everyone to block out 30% of their time for the unexpected. Sounded like a wise plan to me. But she reported her “unexpected” workload regularly far exceeded that 30% figure. When I probed on exactly what the unexpected work looked like, it turned out that recent layoffs and reorganizations were causing even more impromptu 1:1 meetings and phone calls than usual. “It’s where I lose the most time every day,” she told me. “People drop by my office unexpectedly, my calendar is crowded with 1:1 meetings. I never know how long these things are going to take. They eat up my whole day.”

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Getting Things Done: 5 Things I Learned From David Allen

Everyone I coach struggles at some point with how to get more done and focus on what’s most important for their life or career. I’ve learned a lot from one of my long-time clients about David Allen’s approach to Getting Things Done. This client has a typically complex life and work role that requires him to track a myriad of small details, manage projects that require short and long-range thinking, while still maintaining a strategic focus. Sound familiar?

One of my client’s main goals is to feel really masterful in his productivity and focus. It’s been impressive to hear how Allen’s approach keeps my client focused, on task and able to track the full complexity of his job.

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Related Articles

Renewing Your Career: Fine-Tuning vs. The Big Leap

In the past year I’ve trained and coached over 500 people on how to manage their career. I find most people who want to re-invigorate their career assume the choice is either to put up with what they h … [More]

Using Play to Help Your Team Work Brilliantly

Do you love learning through games and play? A colleague of mine Bette Gardner developed a to­tally fun game that helps teams learn to work creatively and cohesively, instead of getting lost in … [More]

Coming Alive: The Journey To Reengage Your Life And Career

Reengaging Your Career!

Have you ever had someone introduce you to just the right person? A long-time client just recently introduced me to Ruth Ross, who is fast becoming one of the leading champions for the “reengagement r … [More]

Related Podcasts

Stress Weighing You Down? Find Energy and Motivation in Work When You’re No Longer Inspired or Fulfilled

How do you keep going when life is stressful and challenging? Where do you find the will and energy to continue? When your work no longer inspires and fulfills you, but it just isn’t possible to find a … [More]

Balancing Career Change and Family – Interview with Donna Marsh

Learn how a successful professional uses three key tools from the Passionate Professional process to balance a career change with being a mother of a special needs child and a military spouse. … [More]

Supercharged Path to Finding Work You Love – Interview with Greg Peters

From layoff and unemployment to exciting new career direction—learn how this professional speeds through all three phases of the Passionate Professional process into work he truly loves. … [More]

Success Stories

Jeanne Loomis, Retired Executive Administrator

Success Story: “Jane’s coaching has changed my life. She helped me recognize that my approach [to my role as Executive Admin to the CEO] wasn’t working. I think she held a mirror up, in a very kind way, that made me look at how others see my actions, whether they were physical actions or my words. Jane helped me become comfortable with who I am, without my title. Across my entire life, this made a difference. For example, instead of sitting away from people, I sit next to them, I sit with them. I’m much happier with my life, with myself.”